Proceeds of crime
In NSW it is an offence to deal with property which is suspected to be the proceeds of crime. The offences for dealing with property suspected to be the proceeds of a crime are outlined in Section 193C of the Crimes Act 1900.
Under the Crimes Act 1900 it is an offence to deal with property when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the property is the proceeds of crime. If there are reasonable grounds to suspect that you are dealing with property and that property is valued at over $100,000 AUD, if found guilty, you face a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. If the value is less than $100,000 AUD the penalty is reduced to a maximum of three years imprisonment.
To be found guilty of the offence of dealing with the suspected proceeds of crime the Police need to establish that:
- the property is substantially derived from (directly or indirectly) any person who has committed a serious criminal offence.
- you received, possessed, or disposed of property which was suspected to be the proceeds of a crime.
- you were responsible for bringing, or arranging to bring, suspected proceeds of crime to NSW. This can be by transfer or electronic transfer.
- you engaged (directly or indirectly) in a transaction, such as receiving or making a gift, of property that is suspected to be the proceeds of crime.
There are reasonable grounds to suspect that property is the proceeds of crime in the following circumstances:
- the dealing of the property involves transactions which are structured or organised to avoid the reporting requirements that might apply for either the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 or the Anti Money-Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006.
- the dealing of the property involves using one or more bank accounts in a false name.
- the value of the property is grossly out of proportion to the accused’s income and usual pattern of expenditure.
- the dealing involves a significant cash transaction and the accused has contravened their obligations under the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 or has given misleading information when purporting to comply with the Act.
- the dealing was done on behalf of another party but the accused has not provided information to enable that other party to be identified and located.
If you have been charged with the serious offence of dealing with property that is suspected to be the proceeds of a crime you must seek legal advice. William Vahl of North Shore Criminal Law is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with over 20 years of legal experience. If you have been charged with this offence contact William Vahl on (02) 9955 2298 or 0400 446424.